Eric Johnston has been named chief operating officer for Pioneer News Group, a family-owned media company based out of Seattle, Wash. that’s comprised of 26 small and medium-sized community newspapers in Washington, Utah, Oregon, Montana and Idaho.
Previously, Johnston was publisher of the Modesto Bee with oversight responsibilities for the Merced Sun and four weekly newspapers located in California’s Central Valley owned by the McClatchy Co. He held key online and interactive positions with the Fresno Bee and Modesto Bee before being named publisher in 2009. While at McClatchy, Johnston earned two McClatchy President’s Awards and two Newspaper Association of America ‘Digital Edge’ Awards.
“We’re very excited to have Eric join Pioneer, “said Mike Gugliotto, president and CEO of Pioneer News Group. “He was the first publisher in the McClatchy Company to come from the digital ranks and brings with him unique and invaluable experience of both the print and digital side of the business. He’s been involved with a number of industry-changing initiatives, fits our culture well and will be a great match with Pioneer’s management team to help lead our company.”
“I am proud to be joining Pioneer News Group, a company that not only has a strong family legacy and commitment, but is also dedicated to community journalism for the benefit of each and every reader – whether delivered to their mobile device, their desktop or their doorstep,” Johnston said. “I have worked in this industry for more than 20 years, and believe in the mission of the community newspaper. I share Pioneer’s desire to strengthen the industry, to develop new business opportunities and to solidify the foundation of journalism for generations to come.”
Johnston is an Eagle Scout and a member of the Board of Directors for the California Newspaper Publishers Association. He’s also a board member for the Education Foundation for Stanislaus County, Gallo Center for the Arts and Stanislaus Community Foundation.
Johnston is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a bachelor of arts in journalism. He is married and has two daughters.